Consultant Fees, Part II

– Continued from Consultant Fees, Part I.

1995 was a bad year. And I had just been removed from the job I loved.

I began my new job in child welfare with some reluctance. Instead of being the worker for therapeutic Forster children, I was the liaison to different therapeutic foster care agencies. A bureaucrat. A paper pusher. I was assigned all the other agencies except for the one where my little boy was burned with an iron.

How did that man have so much power as to force DHS to move me against my will?

What had I done wrong?

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A colleague explained it to me. She said the owner of the complainant agency was paying “consultant fees” to therapeutic foster care experts. Those experts worked at DHS, in the state office. My supervisor had no choice.

Could this be true?

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

This was not what I signed up for.

Then came more strange news. The little boy from McAlester was never placed in the home I set up for him. Instead, the judge sent him home in the custody of his grandfather, a heavy political figure, who promptly returned the boy to his parents. It was a shock to the child welfare from McAlester. I was thanked for my hard work, but this was all political.

Politics? This is not what I signed up for.

My wife had been encouraging me to leave DHS for years. Now was the time. I started looking for other opportunities for which I was qualified.

I prayed.

And I ate. A lot.

Then came the final straw. A call from the McAlester worker.

“I just wanted to update you on the boy you helped me find a placement for.”

“Look, that’s not my job anymore. They moved me over to a liaison job.”

“Well, I thought you would want to know. He died.”

“What? How?”

“His father murdered him.”

Two years later, long after my departure from DHS, I was at a party and met an older gentleman who said he worked at DHS doing internal program audits.

I shared what I could of my past experiences. I mentioned the consultant fees allegedly paid to DHS state office workers.

“Yeah, I was the lead investigator on that. We cleaned all that up. It’s not happening anymore.”

Good to know.


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